Film / Scrooge (1951)
is a 1951 British film adaptation of the novel A Christmas Carol
It stars Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge and Michael Hordern as Jacob Marley; both would reprise their respective roles in the 1971 animated film A Christmas Carol
. Brian Desmond Hurst was the director, and the screenplay was written by Noel Langley (The Wizard of Oz
Scrooge provides examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptation Expansion:
- Adds an extended Start of Darkness sequence depicting how Scrooge and Marley were corrupted by an unscrupulous mentor luring them away from Fezziwig's good influence.
- Then there is the touching scene where Scrooge comes to Fred's house to accept his invitation for Christmas dinner at last, fearful that he would be rejected, only to find he needn't have doubted Fred's love.
- This movie covers Fan's Death by Childbirth, as well as her final moments with her brother. The only other adaptation to attempt this was Ebbie, which aired in 1995.
- Mrs. Dilber's presence was expanded in the movie as the first witness to the changed Scrooge.
- Adaptation Name Change: Love interest Belle becomes Alice instead.
- Age Lift: Fan in the original novel is Ebenezer's younger sister. Here she is the older sibling. Also, both are in their late teens/early 20s in the scene where she comes to bring him home from boarding school, whereas in the book they're children at that point.
- Almost Dead Guy:
- Young Scrooge, thinking his sister has died, bitterly storms from the room, and misses her dying request to him.
- Later, much older Scrooge has Marley delivering a warning with his last breaths, but it's pretty much over his head. Scrooge even waited until business was over to bother visiting him; his maid incredulously declares "I'll see if I can get him to hold out, I'm sure!"
- Ascended Extra: Mrs Dilber, as noted above, receives more screen time. A lot of adaptations tend to leave her out.
- Canon Foreigner: The Predatory Business which buys out Fezziwig is personified by Mr. Jawking. Jawking serves as an Evil Mentor to Scrooge and Marley both, pairing them up in an ominous scene. He is later caught embezzling from his own banking house; Scrooge and Marley bail him out in return for 51% of the stock share, effectively a hostile takeover.
- Comically Missing the Point: This exchange on Scrooge's staircase after he catches up with Mrs. Dilber and gives her a guinea:
Mrs. Dilber: A guinea? For me? What for?
Ebenezer: I'll give you a guess!
] To keep me mouth shut?
- Corrupt the Cutie: The Christmas Past sequence shows this happening to Ebenezer, along with him developing his Jade-Colored Glasses.
- Creepy Child: Ignorance and Want.
- Deadpan Snarker: Scrooge.
- Death by Childbirth:
- Scrooge's mother died giving birth to him, leading to a troubled relationship between him and his father.
- Scrooge's sister Fan. Which leads to a troubled relationship between him and his nephew Fred. Much like his father's relationship with him.
- Heel Realization: Starts when Scrooge describes his old boss Fezziwig, he stops, noting that he wishes he could talk to his clerk, Bob Cratchit.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Scrooge and Marley essentially. Oddly enough when we see Alice in the present day, she still looks the same.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Marley dies while attempting to warn Scrooge of his fate and to "save himself".
- Large Ham: Marley is a big one.
- Laughing Mad: When Scrooge wakes up on Christmas morning and can't stop laughing out of joy, his housekeeper thinks, justifiably, that he's gone quite mad.
- Market-Based Title: Was released as A Christmas Carol in some markets.
- Maybe Ever After: In contrast to the novel where she has a family of her own, Alice/Belle's romantic situation isn't addressed. She's shown in the Christmas Present sequence - where she isn't in the novel. Although it isn't said, this does leave things open for Scrooge to reconcile with her if she isn't married.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When he gets a better look at Fan's death, Scrooge realizes that she asked him to look after Fred. He begins to feel very contrite, as he has gone out of his way to avoid Fred.
Scrooge: Forgive me, Fan!
- Start of Darkness: The Christmas Past sequence explores this, more so than other adaptations.
- Stepford Smiler: When Bob Cratchitt comes home in the Christmas Yet To Come part, he tries to pretend that he's happy about an imagined goodbye from Tiny Tim. But he quickly collapses into his wife's arms in tears.
- Timeshifted Actor: George Cole as Young Ebenezer Scrooge and Patrick Macnee as Young Jacob Marley.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Played with. In the original novel the Christmas Past sequence shows that Belle married someone else and had a family - which is the last we see of her. This adaptation shows her counterpart Alice in the Christmas Present, helping feed the poor on Christmas Day. It's never confirmed whether or not she did have a family.